For Edwin Baker, perhaps MSU's most heralded student-athlete coming in next season, the game was a must see. He couldn't get to the backyard brawl to see the Spartans beat down the Wolverines, but he was glued to the television to cheer on the Green & White.
Baker was happy to see the Spartans succeed on the gridiron, especially after the season his Oak Park squad. There were, however some very bright spots.
The most brilliant performance came Sept. 26 against Royal Oak. In that game, Baker set a school record with 452 yards rushing, the fourth best tally in state history.
What makes the feat even more impressive is that he hyper extended his knee during that game, an injury he thought about playing through until he realized the best option was to shut things down for the final four games of the season.
Hanging up the cleats for the year didn't come easy for Baker.
"At first it was (disappointing,)" he said. But he kept himself involved with the team as much as possible, and that helped him deal with being idled.
"I was still there, I went to every practice, went to all the meetings, went to games," he said. "I was still there, showing support for my team, just letting them know I was there for them."
As for his future squad, Baker has no problem talking about what he expects to see for the rest of this season.
"I have big dreams, so I expect big things out of them," he said. "I feel that they will win out the rest of the season and win the (Big Ten) championship. That's what I predict."
And the Penn State game is looming large for the possibilities still available to the Spartans.
"Oh, it really is," Baker said. "I think Javon is going to be — they have to run the ball. The other team will be amped, they just have to come out and do what they have to do."
"It's still up in the air," he said, adding that he's hoping the opportunity remains open.
Otherwise, Baker plans to compete in track to keep his competitive juices flowing as well as his physique in top notch shape. He runs the 100 and 200 meter dash.
In the meantime, Baker keeps in regular contact with running backs coach Dan Enos. They talk every week about his game, the Spartans and preparing for the next level. The conversations serve to reinforce the primary reason behind Baker's commitment — at MSU, the people make the difference.
"As a person and also as a coach, he shows that he's a good man," Baker said.